Close-knit Mets are disappointed, but already excited for 2016
Simply put, the Mets ran into a buzz saw with the Royals in the World Series.
They did everything better than the Mets, always seeming to be one or two steps ahead of the Mets in every facet.
They were far and away better offensively, specifically with their situational hitting late in games as they outscored the Mets 15-to-1 from the seventh inning on. The Royals had eight extra-base hits, the Mets had none from the seventh inning on. They were outhit 19-to-10 in such situations as well.
They weren’t perfect, but the Royals fielded better, pitched better out of their bullpen, were mobile on the bases and forced mistakes utilizing speed, and when push came to shove late in these games, they simply did not make many mistakes which was the clear cut difference in this game.
Just ask Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda about that.
The Royals were just better in this series, and that’s why they’re World Champions.
“We’re real disappointed,” Terry Collins said early Monday. “I know where [Ned Yost] came from when he talked about how he felt last year, and that’s the way we feel right now. I told the guys, ‘this is the time to enjoy it and be proud of your accomplishments.’ But when you get beat at the end of the season, it’s not fun.”
That’s not to say the Mets should be ashamed. Sure, there’s disappointments, regrets over some of the mistakes, the, “what-if” game and the, “could have’s,” and, “should have’s” in every one of these five games, including Game 3 in which they won.
But that’s the precise mentality the Mets avoided throughout the peaks and valleys of their turbulent and dramatic 2015 season, and a big reason why the Mets were able to overcome such incredible adversity and even get to a Game 5 in the World Series, conceivably ahead of everyone’s expectations.
Mets captain David Wright – who struck out 20 times in 64 postseason at-bats in 2015 – hopes he and his teammates will be able to put that positive spin on their incredible 2015 season shortly.
“Rightfully, this stings,” Wright explained early Monday after the Mets lost the World Series. “Our heads are going to be down for a little bit. But as much as it stings, a couple of days from now, a couple of weeks from now, we’ll be able to sit back, take a deep breath, and just think about how cool this was, and how much fun we had and how proud we should be of what we accomplished this year.”
The Mets certainly have nothing to hang their heads over. Most pundits didn’t even believe the Mets would contend for a Wild Card, much less the division and even runaway with it by late August. They were transformed mid-year thanks to an infusion of youth, athleticism, depth and pure talent in three different areas, helping to make the people who were there better and more productive.
There’s work to do, clearly, but the Mets are close. Really, really close, and now the Mets can clearly set their eyes on one common goal after getting a taste of what reaching it might be like.
“It’s gonna be awesome next year, and I’m really looking forward to the first day of spring training already,” catcher Travis d’Arnaud explained.
Murphy – who’s future is uncertain but has continually expressed interest in a new contract with the Mets – said this was a unique group he had the opportunity to play with in 2015, which helped contribute to their remarkable success this past season.
Said Murphy, “You spend eight months with a group of men, you’re gonna get to know ‘em just by hanging out with them,” Murphy said, “but to truly get to care and love the guy next to you I think is unique, and that’s what I felt like we had in this group.”
Manager Terry Collins is also very proud of his club.
“I’m very, very proud of them,” he said. You guys know last March or last June no one would ever have said we were going to be sitting where we are today.”
And that should serve as a stepping stone. There will be expectations for the Mets, both this winter as they endeavor to fortify their team for 2016 and this time, make it through the end of the World Series as the victor.
But for a franchise which has gone through the last six years without any meaningful expectations, that’s far from a bad thing.